A visit to Olive Farm Wines & The Cheese Barrel

New 2013 wine releases and new Great Britain cheese board…

I don’t really need an excuse to devour scrumptious cheese and delectable wines. But hey when I heard Olive Farm Wines (OFW) had some 2013 wines out and The Cheese Barrel had a new regional cheese board on offer, I thought it would be rude not to go and check it out really. Very rude not to.

I love visiting the OFW property I feel like I’m visiting a stylish bar with its funky modern and classy architecture in amongst the vines. Autumn is also a great time to visit the Swan Valley with the grape vine leaves a beautiful sunset of orange, yellow and red colour at the moment. I am very excited about the new 2013 wines from OFW as I got to see the very beginning of the grapes’ journey to become wine when I popped in to see Anthony, Ian and Sean in action during harvest (read my post here).

Over the past week OFW have brought out 2 new releases, the Traminer (made from the Gewürztraminer grape) and the Late Picked Verdelho. I started my visit to the OFW property at the cellar door. The two cellar door staff working on this particular Saturday were super friendly and you could tell they are really passionate about the wines. I love how they suggested a food match for all the wines we tasted, as naturally I love a good bite to eat with my wine. The wine list is literally massive, if you have the courage to try through the entire list I am pretty sure someone will have to carry you out. There are 4 sparklings, 10 whites, 1 rose, 10 reds including a sparkling red and 7 fortifieds. It’s safe to say that there is something for everything who hails Dionysus, the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine.

During my visit I tried the NV Shimmer Sparkling, both the unwooded and wooded 2012 Chardonnays, the 2012 Viognier, the 2013 Traminer, 2007 Cab Sauv Reserve and I opted to taste the elite fortified – Stari for AU$2 a taste. Minus the Stari all the wines are free to taste, you are also given a small bowl of delicious marinated olives and you can taste some DanDaragan Estate Olive Oils with bread. Responsible drinking is the key!

Here are some great tips I picked up from the super helpful staff: -

  • Chardonnay is making a come back (wohhooo love it!).
  • The Viognier is a good match with Mexican food.
  • The Traminer has the new OFW label which will be rolled out for OFW white wines (very swanky I must add!).
  • The Traminer would be a perfect match for a curry or spicy Asian dish.
  • The Stari is a 4-generation fortified and a blend of Muscat, Verdelho, Tokay and Pedro.

After the tasting (and purchasing of the Traminer, Viognier and Reserve Cab Sauv – absolute faves!) I couldn’t help myself and I just had to pop into The Cheese Barrel cheese café next door.

I love this funky little spot, the wine barrel tables, the grape picking boxes as seats and of course the divine menu. The Cheese Barrel is not a factory but a café; they source some of the best cheeses from around the world and then match them up with the gorgeous OFW wine. The matching is done to perfection and the best thing is you can then do a cheese ‘takeaway’ and take these beauties home with some OFW wine of course and show off your newfound wine and cheese matching skills to your friends.

For the month of June, a new ‘regional cheese board’ has been added to the menu at the café. The Great Britain board, which includes; a mild and creamy Wensleydale, Quickes Cheddar, Isle of Mull Cheddar (favourite!) and Cropwell Bishop Stilton. The cheeses are served up with a good amount of bread, crackers and some lovely fresh pears on the side. For AU$38.50 this was the perfect amount for a light lunch for 2.

Of course cheese in my world does not exist without wine, so I opted for the matching wine flight at AU$10. This included the new 2013 Traminer, Merlot, Dessert Style Chardonnay (yet again another awesome reason why everyone should be a fan of my favourite grape!) and the Liqueur Verdelho. My favourite match was probably the Traminer and the Wensleydale – the cheese was fairly bland for me but matched with the slight sweetness of the wine the creamy delicate flavours excelled. 

The Cheese Barrel on UrbanspoonBy the time I left I was in a wine and cheese haze, honestly it was like I had been hypnotized. I can’t wait to go back again when the next wine is released or a new shipment of cheese comes in. Until then… Click here for more information on Olive Farm Wines and click here for more information on The Cheese Barrel. Plus check out my Olive Farm Wines & The Cheese Barrel visit Facebook albumn here.

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